The Nigeria Police Force has demanded to know the whereabouts of a notorious kidnap suspect Hamisu Bala Wadume, who was allegedly freed by soldiers in Taraba State on Wednesday.
The Force made this known in a statement on Thursday by its Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba.
The police spokesman said that while the suspect was freed, three policemen and one civilian were killed by soldiers.
Mba stated that the police operatives, led by ASP Felix Adolije of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) reportedly came under sudden attack and serious shooting by soldiers of the Nigerian Army, along Ibi – Jalingo Road, as they were taking the arrested suspect, Alhaji Hamisu to the Command Headquarters in Jalingo.
The police spokesman said the operatives were shot at severally by the soldiers despite sufficient proof that they are police personnel on legitimate duty.
Mba had earlier explained that the slain officers – Inspector Mark Edaile, Sergeant Usman Danzumi, and Sergeant Dahiru Musa – were on a mission to arrest Wadume who was said to be indicted in a series of high-profile kidnap incidents in the state.
In a statement, the Nigerian Army gave its own account of the story, saying the soldiers believed the policemen were kidnappers after receiving a distress call about an abduction.
But the police disagreed with the army’s claim that the shootout that took place was a mistake owing to the failure of the Force to carry the soldiers along on the covert operation.
They also asked pertinent questions which they said would unravel the mystery behind the killings of the three security operatives.
The police wondered how a kidnap suspect properly restrained with handcuffs could escape.
They also demanded to know why he was not taken to the army base for documentation purposes and debriefing, in line with the standard operating procedure since he was declared a kidnap victim.